U.S. State Department Condemns Russian Anti-Satellite Test (UPDATE)

The unique wording alone was enough to raise concern, though subsequent reports on the incident have people offering up more questions than answers.

A view from inside the Space Station is shown.

Image via Getty/Roberto Machado Noa

A view from inside the Space Station is shown.

UPDATED 3:53 p.m. ET: The U.S. State Department has now commented on the debris-causing Russian anti-satellite test, with spokesperson Ned Price sharing that the U.S. condemned the country’s action.

Price told reporters that the Russian missile created over 1,500 pieces of “trackable orbital debris, and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations.”

“Russia’s dangerous and irresponsible behavior jeopardizes the long-term sustainability of … outer space and clearly demonstrates that Russia’s [claims] to oppose the weaponization of space are disingenuous and hypocritical,” Price said, according to Reuters

State Dept. spox Ned Price confirms, saying "the test has so far generated over 1500 pieces of trackable orbital debris, and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations”

— Joey Roulette (@joroulette) November 15, 2021

See original story below.

A “debris-generating event” caught the attention of U.S. Space Command on Monday. In turn, there’s been a whole lot of collective speculation, not to mention some familiar end-of-the-world jokes and an increasingly relevant reminder of the inherent problems of further militarizing space.

In a statement shared Monday morning, U.S. Space Command said it was “aware of a debris-generating event in outer space,” per Reuters. At the time, the agency said that it was currently working to learn additional info about the debris field while ensuring that—in their words—“all space-faring nations have the information necessary to maneuver satellites if impacted.”

Also on Monday, per a separate Associated Press report, astronauts on the International Space Station were tasked with the interruption of ongoing research (and a need to take shelter) due to the orbit-complicating presence of debris that’s unofficially said to have originated from a satellite. Potential issues spurred by debris could continue to be a problem for space station astronauts for several more days.

More: The US is very concerned about a major Russian anti-satellite weapons test conducted over the weekend and the State Department is preparing to put out a statement on the matter today, two US officials tell me and my colleague @kylieatwood

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 15, 2021

Complex has reached out to reps for NASA and Space Command for comment and will update this post accordingly. According to Reuters, an anonymous U.S. official said on Monday that “initial reports” pointed to Russia performing an ASAT (i.e. anti-satellite weapons) test in recent days. Meanwhile, a piece from a former Chinese satellite briefly proved to be a cause for space station-focused concern earlier this month.

The news comes amid a number of developments in recent years regarding how the field of research surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) should proceed in the modern era, with military-centered sightings receiving the bulk of the coverage.

Get a look at how people reacted to Monday’s “debris-generating event” news below.

kessler syndrome is just vibes https://t.co/ZMQ384VK00

— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) November 15, 2021

Tired: Airborne Toxic Event
Wired: Debris-Generating Event https://t.co/lDJc2SWgRm

— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) November 15, 2021

please be aliens https://t.co/3kYuKCoNFP

— Sarah Jones (@onesarahjones) November 15, 2021

Oh great we’re facing an entirely different kind of Kessler Syndrome now https://t.co/vubxR5tpwj

— Emily Gorcenski (@EmilyGorcenski) November 15, 2021

Actual military-space news and “US Space Command” still sounds fake too me https://t.co/AWamRAo1Qh

— JokerMakeupJacobite🐋🐢🌹🇺🇦🇵🇸 (@ClwnPrncCharlie) November 15, 2021

Doesn't sound great! https://t.co/r9T3id9MJl

— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) November 15, 2021

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